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“Incredible place”
Review of Isandlwana Lodge

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Isandlwana Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 16, 2010

I have just returned from an amazing 2 week holiday travelling around South Africa, and by the far the best experience was the 2 days I spent at Isandlwana Lodge. Right from the moment of arrival, the staff were amazing, and the place itself is just stunning. Tucked into the mountain, the lodge overlooks the battlefields and is the perfect location for history enthusiasts. I really liked the personal touches here, the hot water bottle in the bed on cold nights, and the way the owner Pat, and historian Rob stop by during dinner for a chat about our day. The food was beautiful, staff friendly, and the rooms luxurious and spacious. The battlefield tour itself was amazing, Rob Gerrard is extremely knowledgable and brings the whole experience to life. I was very sad to leave this lovely place and would highly recommend people to visit.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank legs77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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193 - 199 of 224 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2010

We travelled to SA for a combined honeymoon / safari / World Cup experience, and as soon as we made the decision to travel I knew I wanted to visit Isandlwana. The Lodge itself was absolutely fantastic, stunning location and unrivalled views out across the battlefield.

Staff were outstanding, so helpful and polite, and the food was impeccable. Rob Gerrard is a superb storyteller and his tours of the Isandlwana and Rourke's Drift sites were fascinating. Even my wife, who had no real prior interest in the history, was captivated by the narrative and by the sense of drama that was evoked by Rob's stories and the unique setting. She also loved the Moulton Brown toiletries!

I am so glad we made the effort to visit the Lodge and I can't wait to go back again - a must-see if you are heading to SA.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank jessicaandtimothy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2010

Loved every minute of my short stay ... from the warm welcome to the well furnished rooms and the excellent service. Nothing was too much trouble and what topped it off was finding a hot water bottle in my bed when it was time to turn from a long day travelling.

After watching the film how many people can say they have sat and watched a breath taking Zula Dawn as the sun hit the top of Isandlwana (admittedly wrapped in a duvet with tea and biscuits).

This is a real hidden gem and I would have loved to have stayed longer - I hope all the little touches remain for when I return.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Eevo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2010

Stayed here for 3 nights - the lodge itself compliments the stunning scenery - we spent ages drinking in the surroundings. Food and accommodation were excellent - nothing was too much trouble for the staff. We spent a lovely morning touring the village, enjoying the hospitality of the villagers. The trip to the battlefield of Isandlwana was fascinating and very atmospheric - our guide Dalton was an ancestor of one of the Zulu commanders and really brought the battle alive to us. The trip to Rourkes Drift was also very moving and a must do.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Crashingwaves23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2010

As all the other reviews have said, a fantastic lodge in an awesome location! Dalton is a star and I am only disappointed that we did not have the opportunity to have him tell us his version of the great battles. Rob was great at what he does, although I'm afraid I did not buy the high emotion at the end of each of his sessions.....
Can't understand the poor room review - ours couldn't have been better and doubt that there are any differences with only 12 rooms. Nor was I disturbed by noise at any time.
A fantastic stay - but then so it should be at that price!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Trudy63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2010

Our only difficulty was getting there, as we did not have a good map, our GPS was dumbfounded, and at night the directions were difficult to follow through Dundee...Lodge Manager Andre called us, concerned we were lost, and guided us in. He then held the staff until our arrival at 9:30 p.m. and gave us a wonderful meal. He and the rest of the staff could not have been friendlier or more helpful - We extended our stay by one night to have more time to marvel at the lodge setting, construction, and remarkable view of the village and battlefield below. Rob Gerrard's history and tour of the battlfield our first day was nothing short of remarkable! He is a noted expert on the subject and the kind of British Military storyteller that transports you back in time...If there was an HDTV version of storytelling, Rob Gerrard could be the Guru...
The culture and setting of this lodge is what makes it special - It is intended to aid and support the local Zulu villages and people as much as it is to lodge and educate us travellers. It is clearly an integral part of the community and provides numerous opportunites to meet and learn from the Zulu people there. That was priceless.

Our last morning as we prepared to check out, Andre reported that our car had a flat tire and asked for my keys...Why, I asked? He went on to change my tire and mount our spare for us...as a courtesy to us. Don't know where you live, but that doesn't happen at hotels or ladges around here!

If you go to South Africa, this is a place you should not miss!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank macatguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2010

I really don't want to do this place a disservice as the staff and the superb tours are worth the trip alone. But unlike previous reviews we found the bedroom tired, shabby, in need of repair, with cheap bedding and very noisy.

The staff come in at 7am, you don't need an alarm call as the noise reverberates from anywhere in the building. Chairs scraping in the restaurant area above sounded, on our ceiling, magnified 10 fold, even sweeping the outside corridor you could quite clearly hear the sweeps of the brush! There were holes in the thin sheets, only one type of pillow (even basic B & B's have alternatives nowadays) cracks in the walls, light fittings hanging off the ceiling, and the cheapest bed cover I have seen in a long time. Chargeable - very intermittent - internet, no radio's / TV / no background music on of an evening, no games to play, nothing to do.
Upstairs though is very comfortable and the staff are very friendly. Dalton and Rob are superb as tour guides - I booked the lodge purely on Robs reputation - and bring the war tales to life, it is a great experience and spurs you on to learn more.
Something I ate at the lodge caused me a day of discomfort and a lot of time on the toilet and we thought the food was 'standard,' and just, ok, cook's standard rather than chef standard. The tea and coffee station at breakfast, and throughout the day, meant that you never really got a decent, hot, fresh, cup of tea. Why on earth they can't serve tea and coffee fresh in the morning I don't know.

We are glad we went because of the tours, and I would recommend it on the strength of Dalton and Rob alone. Just take some ear plugs and entertainment with you!!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded August 8, 2010

Some points in this review were well taken, but others are a bit mystifying. The noise level is a constant problem with us because the lodge is built of rock and the slightest noise is magnified by that. Staff is constantly reminded to be quiet and we have used this review as a serious response of their being lax in their efforts to minimize disturbance to guests. That said, we have hadl very few times about the noise level in the 12 years we have been open. Each time, we have reminded the staffa again that they need to be considerate in this regard.

Our bedroom spreads and decor were designed and either hand-painted or screen printed by Zulu women who work in a business from which they receive part of the profits. We cannot identify the room the guest was in who wrote in her review that the fabrics were worn and not of good quality.

The reference to a light fixture hanging from the ceiling was not understood as we have no ceiling lights.

We have never received such a review as unfavorable as this one. We appreciate it to a point because we have used it to emphasize again that any item not 100% in order should not be used in a guest's room.

Food in a remote area such as this is not as easily controlled as in cities where most anything needed is available in quantity, but we did take seriously the comment in this regard. The coffee not being hot during the day is inexcusable. Our staff has been told to remove the coffee carafes from the sideboard except at mealtimes. Obviously this direction was not followed when the guests were here , but we have emphasized again that we cannot afford not to have hot tea and coffee at any time during the day when a guest requires it. There is a French Press coffee pot in our bedrooms and the kettle is used for hot water for tea. But, on the main level, we should be serving fresh coffee and tea from the kitchen when a guest requests it.

It is clear the guest has very discerning tastes because I noticed from other reviews of places they have visited that Isandlwana Lodge was not the only lodge in which they were disappointed. Even so, we did not take their criticisms lightly and we trust the feedback will make us all more conscious of what we need to do to insure all guests have a good experience in this magical area of Zululand.



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Additional Information about Isandlwana Lodge

Address: Portion 20 of Reserve No: 18 No:15838 | Nqutu, Isandlwana 3005, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Isandlwana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Isandlwana
Price Range: $225 - $617 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Isandlwana Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Isandlwana Lodge offers twelve luxury rooms all en-suite and tastefully decorated in a mixture of traditional and modern styles. The Lodge is carved into the iNyoni rock formation on top of which the Zulu commander stood during the battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879. Enjoy unparalleled views from the crisp early light of a sparkling Zulu dawn to the splendor of the African sunset. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Isandlwana Hotel Isandlwana
Isandlwana Lodge KwaZulu-Natal

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